Vanuatu loses distinguished agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa – first ni-Vanuatu with a PhD in science

Ni-Vanuatu agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa, who passed away earlier this week. Photo: Dr Vincent Lebot

Ni-Vanuatu agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa, who passed away earlier this week. Photo: Dr Vincent Lebot

Vanuatu has lost leading agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa. He died in hospital in Nouméa this week after a battle with cancer. Dr Vincent Lebot told Radio Vanuatu that the death of Malapa, from Malekula, is a huge loss for the country. He specialised in yam genetics and returned to Vanuatu after completing a PhD in France to create a breeding program to increase the genetic diversity of yams. His work has helped many farmers in the country, said Dr Lebot.

The Prime Minister has declared that there will be no procrastination in the payment of outstanding retirement payments due to former public servants. He made the point in the official launch of Government’s new staffing policy on Tuesday at the National Convention Centre. He said Read the rest of this entry »


Public urged to report Vietnamese ‘blue boats’ illegally fishing in Vanuatu territorial waters

An example of Vietnamese 'blue boat' – fishing vessels that have frequently been caught plundering the fisheries of Pacific nations. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

An example of Vietnamese ‘blue boat’ – vessels known to be illegally fishing inside the territorial waters of Pacific nations. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

Vietnamese ‘blue boats’ illegally fishing in our exclusive economic zone are a threat to Vanuatu’s environment and food security. Fisheries Director Kalo Pakoa asks the public to call the Vanuatu Mobile Force’s Maritime Base on 22860 to report any sightings of ‘blue boats’, so named for their distinctive hue. They are not fitted with automatic identification systems, as is the case with vessels licenced to fish in our waters, so are difficult to track. Three such vessels’ captains have been prosecuted recently in New Caledonia and their catch seized by the French Navy, but they subsequently escaped Read the rest of this entry »


Kava exporter produces evidence to counter tampering accusations

kava

Peter Colmar, owner of Santo kava export business Sarami Plantation has responded to criticism of what were labelled as his “tainted” kava exports a week ago. The allegations of impurities in Sarami shipments were made by European kava expert Dr Mathias Schmidt in Germany and Vanuatu’s European Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy in Belgium. Colmar has angrily rejected the accusations of a week ago as “lies”, Daily Post reported on the weekend, and he produced gas chromatography data showing that his exported kava was a derived from a noble variety and contained only roots. There was some sympathy shown for Sarami and the Colmar position by the Agriculture Minister when contacted by Daily Post. He felt a cancellation of the exporter’s licence was not appropriate if the kava exported was of good quality. However, he said Read the rest of this entry »


Tanna’s Nikoletan Council of Chiefs establishes tribal land boundaries under new Land Management Act

Tanna… the Nikoletan Council of Chiefs of Tanna has now designated the land boundaries of the island's seven area councils. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tanna… the Nikoletan Council of Chiefs of Tanna has now designated the land boundaries of the island’s seven area councils. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Land Management Act gets a further boost today from the Nikoletan Council of Chiefs of Tanna. Nikoletan Secretary Bruno Kehma reports the satisfactory and timely working of the Act with 115 tribes and the setting up of the boundaries of the seven area councils for Tanna. The pilot project under the Act has named Malo and Tanna, Ambae and Efate as the starting islands for the project, and while Efate has been slow, it is now given a new deadline, 15 February. Bruno Kehma calls on the Efatese to finalise their project as soon as possible. (Daily Post)

Paul Hocktene (Ogden?) of JPO Investment Kava International and Export now claims a Tongan purchaser of his kava refused to pay for the shipment of the product, resulting in it being sent back to Vanuatu. It was not accompanied by Read the rest of this entry »


“Vanuatu is not free until all of Melanesia is free”—Vanuatu Govt reiterates its support for Papuan independence to MSG leaders

Members of Vanuatu's Government including PM Charlot Salwai (centre, in bird of paradise headdress) with leaders of the Papuan independence movement yesterday in Port Vila. Photo: Jen Robinson

Members of Vanuatu’s Government including Prime Minister Charlot Salwai (centre, in bird of paradise headdress) with leaders of the Papuan independence movement yesterday in Port Vila. Photo: Jen Robinson

“Free West Papua” graffiti on cement walls around town sums up Vanuatu’s Christmas wish for its Melanesian brothers and sisters meeting now in Port Vila. Welcoming independence leaders from the Indonesian ruled territory, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai reiterated Vanuatu’s strong stand in favour of independence for West Papua—and for French Polynesia and New Caledonia. Vanuatu’s stance on decolonization remains as strong as it was during our own independence 36 years ago. West Papua campaigner, Benny Wenda, told Daily Post of the Melanesian spirit which binds the people of Melanesia in their attempt to be granted full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Demonstrations to this effect have been taking place in West Papua and it is reported that one demonstrator was killed and 528 arrested, recently, including six children of less than ten years of age.

It is good news to have Read the rest of this entry »


Public servants awarded for exceptional on-the-job performance

Vanuatu flag. Photo copyright © 2016 Vanuatu Daily Digest. All rights reserved

Seven public servants have won recognition for special efforts in “striving for excellence in the Public Service.” The winners are: Janelle Johnson (Finance), Levu Antfalo Boaz (Meteorology), Jenifer James (Early Childhood Care Education, Ministry of Education and Training), Camillia Garae (Geology), Solip Nato (PWD), Julie Rereman (Labour) and Lionel Kaluat (also Labour). Prime Minister Salwai congratulated the winners at a ceremony yesterday to mark the achievement along with Public Service Commission Chairman Martin Mahe. He encouraged all public servants to strive for excellence. Each winner received Vt Read the rest of this entry »


Opposition Leader as AG agreed to Act strengthening protection of customary land – but now wants to remove those protections

Dispute over Vanuatu customary land. Photo © 2016 Vanuatu Daily Digest, all rights reserved

One of the Bills to be brought before Parliament next Monday is a Bill to repeal the Customary Land Management Act of 2013. It is described as a Private Member’s Bill. It was, however, lodged by the Leader of the Opposition, Ishmael Kalsakau, who was Attorney-General at the time the Bill was first enacted. The explanatory note regarding the Bill to Repeal, which has not been readily obtainable, claims that the Customary Land Management Act of 2013 fails to enhance the application of the constitutional rule by enabling customary institutions to deal with disputes over land owned in accordance with the customary law of each particular place. The Leader of the Opposition has opposition backbencher support for his present campaign against the three-year old legislation.

A great deal of consultation took place to ensure that every means would be found to enable the Custom Land Management Act to ensure all proper customary rules were complied with, as the Honourable MP would be aware; after all, he was the AG originally enabled this legislation – and now wants repealed.

The Customary Land Management Act was enacted to provide greater protection to customary lands against improper land dealings, by ensuring that all dealings affecting customary land involved community consultation at the nakamal level.

Kalsakau has not been available for comment (he is overseas), but a spokesman said Read the rest of this entry »